Archive for the ‘U.S. Department of Justice’ Category

Interim Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing

April 17, 2015 Comments off

Interim Report of the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services

Trust between law enforcement agencies and the people they protect and serve is essential in a democracy. It is key to the stability of our communities, the integrity of our criminal justice system, and the safe and effective delivery of policing services.

In light of the recent events that have exposed rifts in the relationships between local police and the communities they protect and serve, on December 18, 2014, President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order establishing the Task Force on 21st Century Policing.

In establishing the task force, the President spoke of the distrust that exists between too many police departments and too many communities—the sense that in a country where our basic principle is equality under the law, too many individuals, particularly young people of color, do not feel as if they are being treated fairly.

It became very clear that it is time for a comprehensive and multifaceted examination of all the interrelated parts of the criminal justice system and a focused investigation into how poverty, lack of education, mental health, and other social conditions cause or intersect with criminal behavior. We propose two overarching recommendations that will seek the answers to these questions.

0.1 OVERARCHING RECOMMENDATION: The President should support and provide funding for the creation of a National Crime and Justice Task Force to review and evaluate all components of the criminal justice system for the purpose of making recommendations to the country on comprehensive criminal justice reform.

0.2 OVERARCHING RECOMMENDATION: The President should promote programs that take a comprehensive and inclusive look at community based initiatives that address the core issues of poverty, education, health, and safety.

The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime

April 9, 2015 Comments off

The Impact of Foreclosures on Neighborhood Crime (PDF)
Source: National Criminal Justice Reference Service

In the last few years, mortgage foreclosures have uprooted millions of households, and many have expressed concern that the foreclosed homes they leave behind are increasing crime. The three papers that emerged from our project study this question by examining whether and how elevated foreclosures affect different types of crime in the immediately surrounding area, in five cities around the country.

In our first paper, we use point-specific, longitudinal crime and foreclosure data from New York City to examine how foreclosures affect crime on the same blockface– an individual street segment including properties on both sides of the street. We compare changes in crime on blockfaces after homes on the blockface enter foreclosure to changes on other blockfaces in the same neighborhood that did not experience foreclosures during the same time period.

In our second two papers we focus more on identifying mechanisms and also extend our analysis to four other cities to test for generalizability. Our second paper, focused on Chicago, finds similar results as we did in New York City: an increase in the number of properties that receive foreclosure notices appears to increase total, violent, and public order crime on blockfaces in Chicago. In addition, our estimates suggest that foreclosures change the location of crime.

In our third paper, we explore the relationship between foreclosures and crime in five cities, Atlanta, Chicago, Miami, New York, and Philadelphia. Overall, we find that properties banks take over through foreclosure (real estate owned or REO) are associated with higher crime both in the census tract and on the blockface. However, once we control for the number of properties in the foreclosure process (which we can do in three cities), we find no evidence that the presence of REO properties increases crime. Rather, it is the properties on the way to foreclosure auctions that appear to elevate crime.

Collectively, these results suggest that local law enforcement and housing agencies should track foreclosure notices and monitor properties as they go through the foreclosure process, as their owners have little incentive to maintain them.

New Body Armor Website Provides Critical Safety Information to Law Enforcement

April 9, 2015 Comments off

New Body Armor Website Provides Critical Safety Information to Law Enforcement (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

The Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs (OJP) today announced the launch of a new resource for law enforcement and corrections officers when seeking information on high-quality, life-saving equipment., a product of OJP’s Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) and National Institute of Justice (NIJ) features news and information on body armor that meets the standards set forth by NIJ. It is a resource provided by the people who write the standards, test the products and promote officer safety. It is a one-stop resource for body armor information. is hosted by NIJ’s National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center and offers information on how to select, purchase, wear, and care for body armor. It also highlights NIJ’s Compliance Testing Program and the importance of wearing protective vests and includes accounts of officers’ surviving potentially deadly assaults.

Prosecution, Transfer, and Registration of Serious Juvenile Sex Offenders

April 7, 2015 Comments off

Prosecution, Transfer, and Registration of Serious Juvenile Sex Offenders (PDF)
Source: Office of Justice Programs

States vary widely between their applicable ages of criminal responsibility, circumstances in which a juvenile will automatically be prosecuted in adult criminal court (legislative waiver), and when the decision to try a juvenile in adult court is vested either in the prosecuting attorney (prosecutorial waiver) or a judge (judicial waiver). Any survey of sex offender registration and notification requirements applicable to juveniles is incomplete without a more thorough analysis of the systems of charging, adjudication, disposition, transfer, and/or sentencing which might apply to a serious juvenile sex offender.

This overview paints a broad picture of the state of the law in the United States regarding these issues, and then takes a look at the relevant provisions regarding sex offender registration and notification for juveniles adjudicated delinquent in juvenile court of serious sex offenses.

FBI — Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual

March 31, 2015 Comments off

Hate Crime Data Collection Guidelines and Training Manual (PDF)
Source: Federal Bureau of Investigation

On June 5, 2013, the CJIS Advisory Policy Board (APB) approved a motion to modify the Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program’s Hate Crime data collection procedures to begin including all self-identified religions in the United States as listed in the Pew Research Center’s Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life (2008) and the U.S. Census Bureau’s Statistical Abstract (2012). The APB also approved a motion to modify the UCR Hate Crime data collection procedures to include an anti-Arab bias motivation. The FBI Director authorized these motions on June 28, 2013. The FBI UCR Program, which collects and publishes information about crimes motivated by bias, has modified its data collection accordingly by defining the specific religions and the ethnicity/ancestry Arab, as well as providing corresponding examples. The UCR Program collaborated with members of the Arab, Hindu, Muslim, and Sikh communities to develop the corresponding training scenarios, as well as Appendix F.

This publication is intended to assist law enforcement agencies in establishing an updated hate crime training program so their personnel can collect and submit hate crime data to the FBI UCR Program. In addition to providing suggested model reporting procedures and training aids for capturing the new bias motivations, the manual is written to raise law enforcement officers’ awareness of the hate crime problem. The FBI UCR Program is grateful to all who have assisted in preparing this publication.

DOJ OIG — The Handling of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Allegations by the Department’s Law Enforcement Components

March 27, 2015 Comments off

The Handling of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Allegations by the Department’s Law Enforcement Components (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General
From Executive Summary (PDF):

\The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted this review to assess how the Department of Justice’s (Department) four law enforcement components respond to sexual misconduct and harassment allegations made against their employees. This review examined the nature, frequency, reporting, investigation, and adjudication of such allegations in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and the United States Marshals Service (USMS).

The OIG’s ability to conduct this review was significantly impacted and delayed by the repeated difficulties we had in obtaining relevant information from both the FBI and DEA as we were initiating this review in mid-2013.1 Initially, the FBI and DEA refused to provide the OIG with unredacted information that was responsive to our requests, citing the Privacy Act of 1974 and concerns for victims and witnesses as the reasons for the extensive redactions, despite the fact that the OIG is authorized under the Inspector General Act to receive such information.2

After months of protracted discussions with management at both agencies, the DEA and FBI provided the information without extensive redactions; but we found that the information was still incomplete. Ultimately, based on a review of information in the OIG Investigations Division databases, we determined that a material number of allegations from both DEA and FBI were not included in the original responses to our request for the information.

We were also concerned by an apparent decision by DEA to withhold information regarding a particular open misconduct case. The OIG was not given access to this case file information until several months after our request, and only after the misconduct case was closed. Once we became aware of the information, we interviewed DEA employees who said that they were given the impression that they were not to discuss this case with the OIG while the case remained open. The OIG was entitled to receive all such information from the outset, and the failure to provide it unnecessarily delayed our work.

Therefore, we cannot be completely confident that the FBI and DEA provided us with all information relevant to this review. As a result, our report reflects the findings and conclusions we reached based on the information made available to us.

Annual Report of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice: Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program FY 2014

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Annual Report of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice: Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program FY 2014 (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/U.S. Department of Justice

During Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, the Federal government won or negotiated over $2.3 billion in health care fraud judgments and settlements , and it attained additional administrative impositions in health care fraud cases and proceedings. As a result of these efforts, as well as those of preceding years, in FY 2014, approximately $3.3 billion returned to the Federal government or paid to private persons. Of this $3.3 billion, the Medicare Trust Funds3 received transfers of approximately $1.9 billion during this period, and over $523 million in Federal Medicaid money was similarly transferred separately to the Treasury as a result of these efforts. The HCFAC account has returned over $27.8 billion to the Medicare Trust Funds since the inception of the Program in 1997.

In FY 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) opened 924 new criminal health care fraud investigations. Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges in 496 cases involving 805 defendants. A total of 734 defendants were convicted of health care fraud-related crimes during the year. Also in FY 2014, DOJ opened 782 new civil health care fraud investigations and had 957 civil health care fraud matters pending at the end of the fiscal year. In FY 2014, the FBI investigative efforts resulted in over 605 operational disruptions of criminal fraud organizations and the dismantlement of the criminal hierarchy of more than 142 health care fraud criminal enterprises.


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